Category Archives: Monthly Roundups

Fight, O Maidens: August ’19 Roundup (and Hiatus Notice)

Maidens 1

Well, it had to happen eventually–I’ve been running this blog for more than five years and I’ve never taken an official break except when I was travelling. The closest I came was dropping from one post a week to one post every two weeks, a change I decided on when I was getting into the thick of my undergrad degree. Though it’s also a change I promptly ignored, since I still committed to doing episodic reviews every week for a good portion of that year, which… actually meant I was doing even more writing than usual. Honest to goodness, how did I pump out a post per week? Obviously not all of them were very good, but still, the sheer output impresses me. Oh, the unstoppable vigour of youth… or something…

The long and short of it is, my blogging practices have changed over time. It used to be that I could stack up a bunch of posts in a queue, often a couple of month’s worth, and be sitting pretty waiting for them to go live. Recently, I’ve been… I think the official term is “flying by the seat of my pants”, at least more than before; looking at WordPress’ little calendar and seeing it empty and wondering where another two weeks went, catching myself thinking “crap, I need to come up with something to fill up the blog queue”. I’ve also become way pickier and more self-conscious of what I post, which means more drafts than ever before are being discarded since I’m not happy with them, and I either send them back for reworking or just never let them see the light of Internet day. It means I’m quite proud of what I do post, and these posts are often longer, more in-depth, and more polished. This skew towards quality over quantity–the reverse of my early blogging days–is a positive one, but it does mean that a lot more work and time is going into this thing, and I’m forcing myself to admit that it’s not always time that I have.

So I’m taking a break. Oof, it hurts to do it, but I think it will be for the best. Let’s say there will be no posts over September, which will give me time to come up with ideas at my leisure and stack them in the queue rather than frantically hammering articles out because I feel I ought to. I’d like to get back to the post-per-fortnight schedule after this holiday, since I enjoy the consistency of it, but we shall see. A month can be a long time, but it can also vanish out from underneath you the moment you look away. What do you mean semester has started again? What do you mean I have to give a presentation in three weeks? What do you mean we’re already at episode eight of the anime season??

everything is on fire

…you see where I’m at.

In any case, dear reader, I will see you on the flipside. And of course I’ll still be dicking around on Twitter if you want to hear from me.

On the ol’ blog

Community Season 3: A Study in Weirdness and Parody, Made With Love – what exactly made the sitcom’s third and most buck-wild season so impactful, fun, and interesting?

O Maidens in Your Savage Season and “Not Like Other Girls” Syndrome – how Sonezaki’s plotline seems to be unpacking the toxic, isolating trope of “the bookish heroine versus the bitchy girls” that crops up in YA and other teen media.

Queer YA Mini-Reviews: Broadswords, Birdwatching, and Band Geeks – a look at Once & FutureSilhouette of a Sparrow, and This Song is (Not) For You.

Bonus! I recommended a novel for every day of the month over on Tweeter. I swear I have read and enjoyed more than 30 books throughout my long love of reading, but this was sometimes very difficult. It also helped me realise how many books I haven’t read that I still want to, so if you have any recs of your own based on this palette of my tastes, feel free to shoot them my way!

Around the web

Let’s dive into some video content…

In the wake of the movie trailer, this has been doing the rounds–it makes for a very neat introduction to the musical Cats, beloved and baffling to many including me (this actually serves to clarify some plot/character beats that I hadn’t even picked up on with the many times I watched the filmed version as a kid!).

So… how ’bout that Game of Thrones thing that wrapped up a little while ago? In an hour-long deep dive, Lindsay Ellis lays out and picks apart what exactly went so pear-shaped about the end up the series. Her first video looked at this more broadly, but this one looks at individual character arcs (which is fair enough, considering the show was supposedly character-driven…).

This is much more poignant than the clickbaity thumbnail might suggest. A retrospective on AnoHana nearly ten years after it aired, part analysis and part personal story of the show’s emotional and cathartic impact. What does it tell us about grief? About play and childhood and the mirage of maturity? About art and the different conversations that it can have with each viewer? Am I crying about AnoHana again? Yes, yes I am.

Again, goofy title card aside, this is an intriguing look at the genre of “world making” games that, in fact, have you laying down infrastructure on a world that already exists. Do these games unintentionally come from, and encourage, a colonial mindset? Even if it’s just in a fantasy space? There is no easy answer, but it’s certainly an interesting thing to think about.

Kase-san and Queer Thirst: Depicting Sexuality in a “Pure” Yuri Manga – how good ol’ Kase-san tells a story about teen sexuality without sexualising its teenaged cast.

Golden Age Superheroes Were Shaped by the Rise of Fascism – an important, and artful, reminder of the origins of many of our favourite superheroes, and that statements like “we’re trying to keep politics out of comics” are inherently false and harmful.

The Post-War Kids: Anime After Annihilation – Dominic looks at a few iconic series and films (from Kids on the Slope to AKIRA to Astro Boy) that respond to the massive cultural shift that occurred in Japan after it was bombed and occupied by the US military, exploring post-nuclear tension and the building of a new national identity through sci-fi, music, and many other art expressions.

And there goes August. As always, take care, and I’ll see you on the other side of the hiatus!


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You’re a Gem: July ’19 Roundup

Lustrous (1)

It occurs to me that I’ve put out two big posts in a row that essentially amount to “I relate strongly to/connect with these characters who get the crap kicked out of them in their respective narratives”, and just in case anyone was getting worried, I want you all to know that I am okay. Just much more aware of some self-worth issues that are bubbling away at the back of my brain, these days, and trying to work through them through the (comparatively) safe lens of stories. This is, after all, one of the great appeals of fiction: it can reflect your own image back to you in sometimes unexpected ways, and that refracted image can throw things unexpectedly into perspective. Maybe this uplifts you, maybe this depresses you, maybe it provides a mix of both. Maybe it reminds you to take better care of yourself. Maybe it just gives you the little thrill of being able to say “same”.

Maybe I’m just feeling sappy–in the wake of the arson attack on Kyoto Animation this month, there’s been an outpouring of pieces (short and longform) about how the studio’s various works impacted people, whether that meant making them feel seen, making them feel happy when they were in a bad place, making them appreciate the beauty of everyday things, or just making them laugh. Out of the tragedy comes a reminder that we should never underestimate the power of art. Engaging with and thinking about stories can save people, whether in great life-altering ways or smaller, seemingly less consequential ones. At the heart of it this, I think, is why I’m so passionate about stories. This stuff matters, you know? I probably don’t need to tell you this if you’re following this blog diligently enough to be reading the ramble at the beginning of the monthly roundup, but it bears repeating.

Take care out there, everyone–of yourselves, of each other, and of the stories close to your heart, and let them take care of you.

On the blog:

Land of the Lustrous as a Story About Burnout – musings on Phos as Millennial icon (this got a ludicrous amount of views in its first week, and is maybe now one of my most-read posts. I’m glad it resonated with so many people! But please, if it resonated with you, go take a nap!!)

Queer YA Mini-Reviews: Snow, Shapeshifters, and Spooky Castles – three more reviews, this time taking a look at Girls Made of Snow and Glass, The Brilliant Death, and Down Among the Sticks and Bones.

Around the web:

The Ultimate Fantasy of Dragon Age: Inquisition is Being Listened to by a Man – an examination of the romantic appeal of Cullen, whose wish-fulfilment ultimately lies in the fact that he’s Just A Good Sweet Boy who genuinely respects the opinions and choices of the female player-character… a low bar, but one that many straight men fictional or otherwise tend not to clear.

Through Doorways: Portal Fantasies as a Means of Queer Escape and Queer Hope – author A.J. Hackworth reflects on Every Heart a Doorway and how it taps into the escapist appeal the portal fantasy genre had for her and a lot of other queer kids.

The Silence of Peggy Carter – another look at how Captain America’s emotional resolution in Avengers: Endgame fell short, with a specific focus on how this “happy ending” robs Peggy of the agency she’d had throughout the series.

Nichijou and the Everyday Epics of High School Girls – a celebration of the bizarre sitcom’s knack for capturing the authentic teen girl experience, and telling a sweet story of friendship amidst the surreal shenanigans.

SARAZANMAI Imagines a Better Future for Queer Love Stories – an analysis of how Ikuhara’s latest delightfully bizarre project addresses and rejects a lot of the negative tropes that can follow queer characters and romances around in anime.

(I know I end up linking a post of Vrai’s basically every month. I know. They just write the good words and I want to share those words around)

Masculine Bisexuality in Games: Past, Present, and Future – a look at the elusive bi male character in the video game medium, and the tropes (and technological limitations) they’ve historically been trapped in on the rare case that they do appear.

Eugene Lee Yang is Making the Internet More Gay – an interview with content creator and BuzzFeed escapee Eugene “Try Guys” Lee Yang, a dude who I have a lot of respect for in his creative abilities, work ethic, and general coolness.

And of course it was premiere review season! I’m keeping an eye on O Maidens in Your Savage Season, given, and the magical-girl-mecha weirdness of GRANBELM, which is the most new stuff I’ve been excited by in a while. How about you guys?

That wraps us up once again. Take care out there, everyone, and take care of each other.

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Be the Cowboy: June ’19 Roundup

Bloom Into You (64)

Can’t believe I willingly, unprompted, used the word “methodology” in a blog post about superheroes and cowboys. It just slipped in. I kind of want to kick myself in the ankles.

On the blog this month:

Strange, but Familiar: Fun with Intertextuality in Fate/Apocrypha – a look at the action-packed spinoff’s playful use of its relationship to other texts, be they myths or other Fate bits.

Assassins, Outlaws, and Narratives of Autonomy and Vulnerability – one part fan studies, one part analysis of gendered tropes, one part cowboy, and one part me holding up a hand-painted sign that says “Bucky Barnes deserved better”.

On Anime Feminist:

Not “Just a Phase”: How Bloom Into You Challenges Common Yuri Tropes – I return to AniFem to organise my feels about Sayaka’s mini-arc, and the playful and heartwarming way it challenges old tropes.

In exciting news, that article was translated into Japanese over on this website!

Around the web:

Elementary‘s Portrayal of Platonic Love is a Revelation – I’ve been rewatching/catching up on this show recently, so it was especially nice to see an article that hits on one of my favourite things about it: Sherlock and Joan’s plot-central, life-affirming, beautiful complicated friendship, which stays a friendship when so many other shows like it invest in a romantic “will they or won’t they?” for their emotional stakes.

The Beginner’s Guide to Yuri Manga – looking to get into manga about girls falling for each other? Here’s a quick roundup of The Good Stuff currently available in English.

5 SFF Books That Introduce Aromanticism Well and 5 SFF Books That Introduce Asexuality Well – as part of her ongoing research/analysis of the aro-ace spectrum in fiction, Lynn E. O’Connacht compiles some lists of speculative fiction that she feels get it right.

14 YA Authors on the Queer Books That Changed Their Lives – another Pride Month recommendation list, this time with a very personal touch.

AniFem Recommends – as well as their seasonal recs, the AniFem team has now compiled (the start of) an overall list of recommendations. In fact, not just one list, but three, depending on what exactly you’re looking for!

The Forgotten Trans History of the Wild West – Atlas Obscura always brings fun little glimpses of bigger historical research, and this provides a neat peak into the lives of gender diverse folks who roamed the American West in its heyday.

Speaking of fun glimpses into history, this is currently my favourite account:

Plus, this thread that dives into a close reading of The Hunger Games, exploring the potential of Katniss as an aromantic and/or asexual character!

Also, just as a general recommendation, oh my gosh Bastille’s new album gave me so many emotions please give it a listen if you like their stuff

And so June comes to a close. See you all next time, and as always take care!

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May ’19 Roundup

spider mens

This has been a weird couple of months to be on social media: two massive pop cultural events, Avengers: Endgame and the final season of Game of Thrones both happened, and I wasn’t directly involved with either them. And yet I could still, quite effectively, absorb what was going on by osmosis. Exhausting, exhilarating osmosis. Oh, the thinkpieces. Oh, the reaction threads. Oh, the memes, and the memes that sprung from thinkpieces and other people’s reactions, and the memes that sprung from those, all in an endless spiral. Chaos is a Twitter feed. That’s what that recurring line from the show is, right? Tyrion definitely said that at one point.

One big discussion that sprung from these two big to-dos was the question of “shocking” your audience with a twisty-turny plot they couldn’t predict. I even chimed in! I may well make that into a Big Post at some point, but there are my thoughts for now. I promise I wrote that out because I genuinely find the study of genre interesting and not just because, well, everyone else had a take fresh out of the oven, so I felt the need to have one as well. It’s quite fascinating, really, to be part of a social climate that so actively dives into discussion and dissection of culture and media on such a large scale. Does it become exhausting sometimes? Yes, especially when these Big Events happen in quick succession of one another. But it’s also exciting to wander among a field rich with analysis, with people genuinely interrogating why a story fell flat, or why it felt good, or why we should maybe take a look at the consumer and marketing culture around fiction.

Now I can see I lived through what is likely to go down in media history as one of the biggest months in pop culture engagement. I was there, Gandalf. There were so many memes.

On the blog:

Of Cosmic Stakes and Personal Stories (Spider Verse, Infinity War, and Others) – in which I return to the theme of “character stories are more engaging than Big Stakes” this time through the lens of Into the Spider Verse, which called to me significantly more than a certain other crossover movie.

Queer YA Mini-Reviews: Unicorns, University, and the Underworld – featuring The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myth and Magic, Every Heart a Doorway, and Songs That Sound Like Blood. (Additional note: I have now also read Down Among the Sticks and Bones, the prequel to Every Heart, and it also blew me away. Just in case you want a bonus recommendation!)

Around the webzone (get it? Web? Because Spider-Man?):

Avengers: Endgame Didn’t Earn Its Big “Girl Power” Moment – speaking of Endgame takes… here’s one from someone who wasn’t mightily impressed with the franchise’s performative attempt at feminism. It’s all very well to have a big splash-page-style lineup of all your lady heroes, but it rings a little hollow when they don’t get the same weight in the plot as the men in their lives.

How the Straight Agenda Ruined Avengers: Endgame – continuing to speak of, this article articulates well how characters are parceled off into traditionally, normative “happy endings” of wives and kids, which, in many cases, feels unearned, out of place, or downright contradictory to the rest of their arcs up to this point (you can’t just leave Bucky in the dirt!! Who do you people think you are??)

8 Decades of SFF with Low, Intimate Stakes – also fitting nicely with the theme of my superhero post, here is a bundle of speculative fiction recommendations that focus on smaller, more character-driven stories rather than quests to save the universe.

You Can’t Change Your Favourite Pop Culture – But You Can Change the Way You Engage With It – alongside Endgame, the other hot ticket finale this month was Game of Thrones, which sparked some… discourse, to say the least. But, as this article gets into, you can not enjoy a piece of media without demanding that it be remade to suit you.

A Decade of LGBTQ YA Since Ash – as well as writing real good books, Malinda Lo gathers annual statistics on queer YA in the publishing industry. Ten years after Ash hit the shelves, she gathers those stats into one post to see how far things have come since then. She also has another great post looking at the stats of award-winners over the past years, tracking who is represented as well as providing some insight into how these awards work… and if these awards provide any real notion of what a “good” queer book is in the first place.

And this month, podcasts recommendations are back!


Shedunnit is a podcast that digs into The Golden Age of Crime Fiction, examining the tropes, history, and context of famous detective novels from authors like Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers. What is the cultural significance of Miss Marple being an unmarried woman? What role does food (and a new public understanding of poisons) play in detective fiction? Where and how can we find queer subtext in these books? How were the “rules” of a good mystery codified? The answers to all these are fascinating, and beautifully produced, featuring plenty of interviews with historical experts and avid readers.

A short one this time round, but there it is! Take care everyone!



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Let’s Get This Bread: April ’19 Roundup


Gif via mingrose

And so passes the month of April: the seasons are changing, semester is coming to an end, I’m getting a cold right before I have to do a guest lecture (naturally), and I’m keeping up with Game of Thrones entirely through memes. What else was happening on the internet this month?

On the blog:

Fun with “Canon AUs” in The Good Place – a look at how the timeline-rebooting, universe-hopping, relationship-focussed series draws on fanfic techniques.

Bloom: A Graphic Novel That Made Me Cry About Bread – a review of a very sweet graphic novel about romance, growing up, and baking.

Other reading:

Having recently watched the 1986 Transformers movie myself, I feel like I’m obligated to share Hbomb’s take on it (yes, I know I opened with one of his videos last time as well, it’s just The Good Content). Given that the movie itself sort of washed over me in a neon haze, it was enlightening to hear someone dig into what it was actually saying amidst all that colour and noise–and it turns out it’s saying something pretty hopeful and powerful.

Listen Up, Bitches, it’s Time to Learn Incorrect Things About Someone You’ve Never Heard Of – a dissection of the genre of angry, flippant posts (or Tweet threads) that purport to aggressively “educate” the foolish masses about how historical figures were Problematic, Actually; a grating combo of fake history, callout/canceled culture, and the idea that putting a lot of swearing in your argument makes you correct factually and morally. I’ve seen a fair few posts like this, but never seen them discussed and typified before, so this was as interesting as it was cathartic.

Queerness and the Power of “Subtext” in Sound! Euphonium vs Liz and the Blue Bird – a comparison of the portrayal of two relationships in the same series, and how one is switched out for a heterosexual plotline partway through while the other lets a full romantic arc play out, ending up ultimately more satisfying for viewers.

Land of the Lustrous – Episode One – Nick Creamer embarks on episodic reviews of the acclaimed sci-fi/fantasy hybrid about living gems and delves deep into its core theme of “no matter how broken you are, you can be put back together”, how the show gets that across, and what makes it meaningful, in a very articulate and moving way.

It’s Not About Easy Mode: FromSoftware and the Question of Video Game Difficulty – with the release of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice came a whirlwind of discussion about the question of accessibility and difficulty in games, which I think this article sums up nicely.

Carole and Tuesday and How We Talk About Music – a dive into the themes of a sci-fi series set in a future where music is no longer created by humans, but instead by algorithms, what comments this makes about the real world, and how the characters’ simple desire to express themselves takes the usual story of “rebellion against an evil sci-fi dystopia” in a different and more personal direction.

Bloom Into You and Exploring Asexuality – a personal look at Bloom Into You from an ace perspective, and how Yuu’s messy relationship with romance not only suggests an ace reading of her character but accurately reflects the ace experience of growing up.

Spoiler Paranoia is Ruining Pop Culture – a look at the current “spoiler” obsessed marketing and fandom discussion around big events like Avengers: Endgame and Game of Thrones and how it’s a product of a very specific moment in history and culture (and marketing… because capitalism has to get its little hands on everything, huh?).

And of course it was premiere review time! Check out the pickings from this season of anime. (I’m not seeing much that calls to me… though admittedly it’s been very fun and fascinating to be involved in fandom while an Ikuhara show is currently airing. What will Sarazanmai throw at us next? Who can say?)

Let’s wrap up with a song, and one of the most indisputably powerful combination-lecture-musical-performance I’ve ever witnessed:

Take care, all!

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In Which I Am a Fate Blog Again: March ’19 Roundup

saber class blogger

March was a busy month for me, but with a slightly different flavour of busyness. I travelled to Sydney for some Serious Things but, while we were there, my friends (the famous CP and WB you see me mentioning from time to time across the history of this blog) and I took the chance to see the Australian premiere of the second Heaven’s Feel movie, Lost Butterfly, and check out the convention it was hosted by during the day. I hadn’t been to a con for maybe six or seven years, and at the risk of sounding cheesy it was sort of magical walking back into that world of concentrated pop culture love.

It was also deeply surreal, because a significant portion of said con was taken up by Fate; including a massive banner advertising Fate/Grand Order that crossed three windows in the convention space, a special booth full of Grand Order-related goodies including the opportunity to “summon” a Servant by pressing a big button, an interview panel with some voice actors and staff for the upcoming Chapter Babylon anime, and enough Fate cosplayers to populate a small town. And of course bucketloads of merchandise, including some plush toys I… may have purchased. How is this series so niche and weird and yet so ginormous and unstoppable?

In any case, it was an overall pretty fun and rewarding experience, and I basically walked out of the movie after a day neck-deep in Fate (only to be immediately caught in the rain and drenched… life imitates art, I guess!) full of renewed love for the darned thing. As I reflected on in my ‘Love and Also Monsters’ post, while there are a lot of problems with this series overall, I think I’m at the point to happily acknowledge that it holds a really special place in my heart and probably will continue to do so for a long time. It’s been sparking my critical and creative imagination for years now and I’m still finding new things to write about it, it contains some characters and themes are deeply important to me emotionally, shared interest introduced me to some really great long-distance friends, and it low-key got me back into mythology which is now a key part of my thesis a.k.a. my job. I’m married to this beautiful garbage fire, for better or worse.

The heart of this introspective ramble is that it actually feels really good to have a work (or collection of works) that I can be so passionate about, even with its ups and downs. It’s fun, it’s meaningful, it’s intellectually stimulating, and I honestly hope that everyone can find a story that inspires that feeling, whether it’s a novel or a piece of poetry or a game or a trashy fantasy-action anime franchise. We’ve all got That One Story, you know? I think it’s an important thing to have. Stories keep us afloat in this mad world we live in.

They also fill you with the spur-of-the-moment urge to spend money on replica swords, but… look, it sparked joy. And now I can, if need me, chase off a home invader with a replica of Caliburn. Anyway, what did I write this month?

On the blog:

Love and Also Monsters: The Emotional Priorities of Type-Moon’s Fantasy – just in time for said Heaven’s Feel movie to break my heart in the best way, I do some musing on how the Fate storyworld grounds its epic fantasy conflicts in personal relationships, and why that works.

Stranger Things‘ Problem with Female Friendship (and How Season Three Can Fix It, Please, For God’s Sake) – just in time for the hype surrounding season three, I gather my thoughts on the spooky-synth series’ issues with prioritising romance and not letting its lady characters bond.

Further reading around the webzone:

Let’s begin with some video content…

An analysis of the themes and personal politics that run through the content of the McElroy brothers, from their advice podcast to the narrative they construct in The Adventure Zone. A fascinating and ultimately heartwarming deep dive (which… really kind of makes me want to get into TAZ. People have been telling me to. It’s just a lot of hours, guys! I’m not denying that it sounds good! I’m sorry!!)

An escapade into the evolution of VHS technology and how it impacted the ways films were shot and stories were constructed. Funny and illuminating, and especially interesting to me given my recent-ish dive into the history of horror movies (for Until Dawn purposes). Hbomb is always good value.

While we’re digging into the ins and outs of pop culture history, have a look at this bizarrely enthralling ride through the evolution (and collapse) of a branch of Disney parks, couched in the mystery of a kidnapped animatronic. It’s got niche nostalgia, it’s got urban exploration, it’s got high-stakes police investigations–everything you could want!

White Hero, Sidekick of Colour: Why Marvel Needs to Break the Cycle – there is diversity within the MCU cast, for sure, but their non-white characters tend to fall into certain types of roles… something that is overwhelmingly obvious now that it’s a pattern across a decade’s worth of movies.

How YouTube Made a Star Out of a Super Smart Film Critic – an interview with/feature on Lindsay Ellis, which provides some interesting insights into her life and her work. Her first quote of the piece is also “which Starscream should I use?”, proving she is truly a woman of the people.

Boys Can Be Princesses Too: Challenging Gendered Stereotypes in Huggto! Precure – a look at the most recent instalment in the magical girl juggernaut, and how its main male character enjoys things and aesthetics considered traditionally feminine without this being a problem or an oddity.

And, as The Promised Neverland wraps up, do take a look at Atelier Emily’s analysis of its cinematography and visual language, which is as always fascinating.

Also: look at this April Fool’s crossover art between two of my favourite shows from last year!

Aaaaand hey… let’s finish on a tune. You ever get into a conversation that feels like chewing gravel, but can’t put your finger on why, until you realise It’s Just How That Person Is? Chris Fleming has a song about that.

Take care, everyone!


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The Monster Mash: February ’19 Roundup

promised neverland mood

Welp, there goes February! I don’t have too much to report nor wax philosophical about this time round. Summer has come to an end (though we all know the heat will continue stubbornly and spitefully into autumn) and school/work is back in full swing, meaning I am back to being pumped up on Learning and Mentoring and Knowledge!! and also back to being exhausted at the end of every day. I’m juggling a lot of big projects, which is daunting but very exciting. But hey, I still found time to blog! And here those blog posts are:

On the blog:

The Trickster Archetype in Pop Culture, Part Three: Tricky Ladies – another dive into myth and fiction, this time through Lori Landay’s concept of the feminine Trickster.

The Promised Neverland and the (Horrifying!) Ideal of Pure Childhood – a look at how the series uses Victorian imagery of the innocent, pastoral child who will never grow up for horror effect.

Cool web content:

This short video essay delves into the “adaptational attractiveness” trope and the tendency for characters to be way hotter than is reasonable in their screen versions… and how this is not just a problem with relatability and beauty standards, but how it can be symptomatic of a character’s flaws being wiped away in the adaptation process.

How Authentic is The Good Place Version of Australia? An Investigation – asking the big questions and revealing a wealth of puns I didn’t pick up on the first watch, this hard-hitting analysis dives in detail into the portrayal of my home country in The Good Place.

The Fractured and Famous: Celebrity Culture and Control in Perfect Blue – Priya Sridhar examines Perfect Blue and its psychological horror narrative next to the #MeToo movement and how the film has, horrifyingly, not only remained relevant decades after its release but seems to have predicted much of contemporary celebrity culture.

Marketing Representation in Dragalia Lost – is queer rep that’s mostly there to try and suck our money into a gacha game system still good queer rep?

1919 – 2019: Yuri From Then to Now – celebrating a century of the yuri genre, its foremost scholar Erica Friedman presents a brief, introductory look at its roots and its evolution.

The Five Worst Dates in Dragon Age – spicy hot takes, worded beautifully, about the lamest romantic encounters you can have in the fantasy RPG series. Endorsed by the creator himself!

Superhero Costume Design is Finally Getting the Recognition It Deserves – in the leadup to the Oscars, a dive into the evolution of superhero costume design in film and why it’s a lot more work than people give it credit for (and Black Panther won! So yay!!)

Kase-san and Pure Yuri – Abby muses on just what is so great about the Kase-san series, how it handles its love story, and how it leans away from the harmful tropey bits of both Class S and shoujo romance to create something fresh and new.

And that’s a wrap. Take care everyone!

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